ASTON — The Lansdowne Aldan Alumni Association will join forces with Delaware County News Network to hold a Toys For Tots collection at the ninth annual Custom Bike and Car Show, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, at Gatsby’s, 4936 Pennell Road, Aston. Proceeds will benefit Operation First Response. Music will be provided by D.J. Steve Kurtz.

The Lansdowne-Aldan Alumni Association was established in March 2019 with an initial group of 50 alumni. Through members’ annual contributions and dues and an all-volunteer staff, the group of Lansdowne Aldan High School graduates has continued to grow in numbers and charitable endeavors under the leadership of President Ellen Calvecchio Behrle, Class of 1974. In addition to fostering social connections among alumni, the group provides financial assistance to initiatives which benefit people in need in their hometown and surrounding communities. In just under two years, the alumni association has contributed over $10,000 to help community causes.

“Our gratitude for all that we received over a span of 60 years has allowed us to provide fellowship and hardship support for all Lansdowne Aldan alumni and contribute to financial needs-based scholarships to graduating Penn Wood High School students attending post-secondary schools. We have connected over 700 members on our Facebook site in celebration of our personal success,” Behrle said.

The LAAA has grown to almost 150 members within a year, each member paying annual dues of $25. Through additional contributions, the LAAA has exceeded $3,000 in scholarship money and has contributed to local food banks, turkey drives at Thanksgiving and Christmas, supported mental health therapists at schools with furniture and food items, as well as supported The Lansdowne Library and the Lansdowne Presbyterian Church group which provides daily meals for those in need, primarily due to unemployment as a result of the pandemic.

LAAA also maintains a small hardship fund offering small grants to alumni in need to help with short-term problems.

Prior to Covid, LAAA hosted all-class reunions and socials throughout the year to cover their operating expenses and have solicited business sponsors who contribute goods, services and annual donations necessary to operate with the volunteer staff. 

“We do this because we are thankful for what we received through our education while at Lansdowne Aldan, and from our hometown communities,” Behrle commented. “We are now in a position to give back to those who are not as fortunate as many of us, due the changing world around us. We are a grateful group!”

The annual holiday Toys For Tots drive is an initiative that the alumni of Lansdowne Aldan High School have embraced for the past eight years. Delaware County News Network, consisting of Town Talk and The News & Press of Delaware County, has participated in collecting toys for the USMC Toys For Tots drive for three decades.

The national U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during November and December each year, and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community. The local nonprofit Toys For Tots program is organized through the USMC Reserve at 601 Kedron Ave., Folsom.

Although families cannot request toys directly, they are welcome to register to receive toys through one of the approved local organizations. A list of the agencies where families in need are able to register can be found at The final day for families to register to receive toys is Saturday, Nov. 21.

In 2019, Toys For Tots collected and distributed 36,763 toys in Delaware County, making last year’s holiday season brighter for 15,628 local children.

For more information about registering for toys, donating toys or hosting a collection site at a business or public site, email or call USMC Cpl. Derek Rovito at 610-532-7959, ext. 230. The final day of this year’s Toys For Tots collection is Thursday, Dec. 10.

“Prior to our officially organizing as an official association, Toys for Tots is something many of us did at Penn Wood High School for the past eight years, as many of us still live in Lansdowne and the surrounding areas,” Behrle explained.   “Now we embrace it as a way of honoring our deceased alumni.  Last year, we were allowed space at Delco News Network’s holiday craft show at Penn State Brandywine. We collected four full bins of toys. We are grateful this year to have the opportunity to be at the Gatsby’s location to collect, as there is a much greater need this holiday season due to the COVID pandemic.”

 For more information on the LAAA, visit To make a monetary donation to the LAAA toy collection, visit the website or send checks can to LAHS Alumni Assn., PO Box 226, Clifton Heights, PA 19018. For more information about Gatsby’s custom bike and car show, call 610-494-4500 or visit

“We hope others in the community will stop by the car show on Nov. 8 to contribute to our toy collection,” Behrle said. ““We are grateful for the opportunity to make a difference for local children in need.”

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